OMPHALOS: exhibition statement
All creative acts can be seen as intermediary attempts to narrow the distance between the material and the immaterial. The Greek term, omphalos, literally translated as navel, refers to various symbolic centers, believed to connect the earthly and the divine. Unique as a fingerprint, the navel is the first mark that life leaves upon the body - a scar which points to our origins. Physically, the curious depression (or mound) marks our link to the past as well as our individual existence apart from it.
This simultaneity is what I’m after. Prompted by urges and the allure of origins, my creative work addresses the body as a site of irresistible paradox. Inverting the boundaries between what is and what is not, it continually draws attention to the void of longing. The sculptural process of casting finds its significance here: the body simultaneously functions as mold and molded, container and contained. As flesh becomes a tangible metaphor, a subtle surreality manifests, resulting in an odd tension of visceral compulsion and grotesque desire in which the seemingly familiar is wed with the infinitely unknowable. The physical finds its parallel in the spiritual, whereby the body functions as a microcosm, continually glimpsing of the beyond.
about the castings
These castings were made collaboratively during workshops with students from Jacksonville University and professional dancers-in-residence from the Elisa Monte Dance Company. These workshops were cross-disciplinary in that they brought together students from both the visual art and dance department. Students and dancers worked together in groups to create plaster body castings using a simple one-step casting process in which the body itself became the mold. These various castings explore the negative spaces surrounding the body, giving form to the voids that define the body's surface.
I plan to continue conducting these casting workshops and hope to make some larger, more complex, collective body castings in the near future.